Diamond Color: A Rainbow of Choices

Diamond Color

The vast majority of diamonds mined are tinted yellow or brown.  It is very rare to find a colorless or near-colorless diamond and especially in a large size.  It easy to take diamond colors for granted when one can walk into a jewelry store and see case after case filled with glittering, white diamonds.  But diamonds are not limited to colorless, yellow, or brown; diamonds come in essentially every hue in the rainbow from blue to red to pink to green (the one diamond color not available naturally is vivid kelly green).  For this article, we will discuss diamonds within the normal color range.

Normal Color Range

Most diamonds are assigned a color grade based on the color scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America.  This scale pertains to diamonds in what's called the normal color range.  This scale ranges from completely colorless (D) to light yellow or brown (Z).  The human eye can differentiate between millions of hues, but humans have very poor color memory.  Therefore, GIA painstakingly assembled a set of master color comparison diamonds representing every color in the normal color range.  A trained grader places the loose diamond to be graded table down (face down) and compares its color with that of the master stones to determine the color grade.  Any standard gemological laboratory within a jewelry store should also have a set of master stones (either diamond or cubic zirconia), although not every grade will be represented.  It is important to note that although most diamonds have a tint of yellow or brown, the normal color range also applies to all other diamond hues that are not intense enough to fall into the fancy color scale.

Color Grade Ranges

  • D, E, and F - Colorless table-up and table-down
  • G, H, I, and J - Near colorless; usually appears colorless table-up when set
  • K, L, and M - Faint color; color visible table-up
  • N, O, P, Q, and R - Very light color
  • S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z - Light color

Color and Diamond Value

The allure of a D-color diamond tempts almost every diamond buyer, but such a grade is unnecessary even if you do not want your diamond to show any color.  D-color diamonds command a premium for their extreme rarity.  In fact, all other factors being equal, the greatest difference in value is between the grades of D and E.  By definition, all diamonds graded D, E, and F are colorless.  Gemologists and diamond graders differentiate between these grades by assessing the diamond's tone, the lightness or darkness of the color.  Colorless and near-colorless diamonds will hold their value over time.  Below these ranges, the resaleability is limited.  This is why diamonds that appear to have a color below that of the J-grade are often sold without a diamond grading report or are graded by laboratories with less strict standards in color grading.

In order to maximize your diamond budget, I recommend purchasing diamonds in the I-grade or higher.

Jared W. Olen, Graduate Gemologist (GIA), Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA), Certified Diamontologist (DCA)

ItIsRape.org – “You are not alone.”

So yesterday (before reenacting Rip Van Winkle's big ol' nap), I officially registered www.ItIsRape.org. Why did I do this?  Well, if you were on Twitter this past Friday night, you may have noticed the "#ItAintRape" hash tag that was trending worldwide.  Men and women alike were posting jokes about rape like, "#ItAintRape is she's a mute."  I has literally been crying after watching the episode of Prison Break where Lincoln is about to be executed.  I am staunchly opposed to the death penalty, and, among other things, I was literally crying for all of humanity.  How can state-sanctioned murder be just?  How can we do this to each other?  Is is not bad enough to lose the lives of the victims of murder that we also have to kill the murderers themselves?  An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.  I know revenge is a dish for which us human being will always have an insatiable appetite, but we cannot resort to murder in the name of justice.

But I digress.  Those of us on Twitter on Friday night who were opposed to the cruel jokes being posted by people on Twitter in response to #ItAintRape began using our own hash tag: "#ItIsRape."  I single-handedly replied to almost 100 of these jokesters with the same response: "FALSE - #ItIsRape.  See you in court!"  I woke up Saturday morning and checked my "@jaredolen" Twitter replies.  Oh, how excited I was to see that I go through to some people!  I had all sorts of mean-spirited replies, but I also had some from people who were apologetic about their actions the night before.  Others wondered who I was.  I shall let them continue to ponder the consequences of the negative karma they brought upon themselves.

Later on yesterday, I checked my favorite domain registrar to see if ItIsRape.org was already registered to someone else.  It was not.  I felt obligated to register the domain name (as well as the other related domain extensions) in order to preserve the name of what us Twitter activists had started.  And so it is that now I own www.ItIsRape.org.  But I don't want to "own" it.  In fact, I have no right to own it.  Thus, I decided to turn it into a wiki resource for survivors of rape with the specific message of "You are not alone."  I plan on taking a legal slant to the website, offering geographically-targeted resources to all those who seek them.  I am using the TikiWiki platform, and I'm way over my head!  I have never had experience with a wiki before and my programming knowledge is limited to, at best, e-commerce websites.  But I have taken on this challenge, and I will face it.  I am facing it.  I just hope that I can find some kind-hearted people to face it with me!  Because only together can we send the message to the survivors of rape that "You are not alone."  And they, you, are not.